Law and Order: The Career and Legacy of Minneapolis Mayor Charles Stenvig

A museum exhibit in the first floor gallery of Andersen Library, cosponsored by the Friends of the IHRC, free and open to the public. The exhibit will be available from March 8 to May 7, 2007. Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The gallery is also open Saturday, May 5 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Directions and parking for Andersen Library.

In 1969, just months after Hubert H. Humphrey narrowly lost the Presidential election to Richard Nixon, the city where he began his political career, Minneapolis, elected a mayor with no previous political experience, no party affiliation, and no platform aside from his pledge to “take the handcuffs off the police.� Labeled the “George Wallace of the North� by his opponents, Charles Stenvig’s 1969 mayoral victory marked a decisive shift in Minneapolis’ political landscape.

Minnesota had long been a stronghold of New Deal liberalism and progressive politics as illustrated by the careers
of Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, and Walter Mondale. Campaigning on the themes of “law and order,� resentment against so-called student and black militants, Christian values, and fiscal conservatism, Stenvig was elected
for three separate terms as mayor.

Law and Order: The Career and Legacy of Minneapolis Mayor Charles Stenvig, an exhibit on display at the University’s Andersen Library Gallery, explores not only Stenvig’s local impact but also his connection to a burgeoning national movement. Jeff Manuel and Andy Urban, PhD candidates in History at the University of Minnesota and the exhibit’s curators, began looking at Stenvig’s career during a graduate seminar in public history that encouraged students to research topics of local interest. Using video footage, historical photographs, campaign memorabilia, audio clips, and oral histories, the exhibit examines Stenvig’s relationship to the anti-war movement, affirmative action and busing, crime, moral values, and masculinity.

See also related Star Tribune news article: Nick Coleman:" Charlie Stenvig:We're still trying to figure him out"